Testimonies and reflections
Let the word of Christ dwell
in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing
one another in psalms and
hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your
hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:16       
The Word For Women Network  An Interactive Ministry

Taking A Moment To Reflect....

It's a good thing to write things down sometimes.  When moments happen that cause you to
reflect on the goodness of God, you might want to write it down, you may need to look back on
those times and reflect.  This past week has been extremely challenging for me.  A friend told me
that I must be real close to my breakthrough because the enemy has pulled out all the stops to
distract and discourage me.  I had given myself a deadline of August 1 to be finished building this
new website for the ministry and this week he has done everything in his power to get me off
track.  And, the really sad part is that I allowed him to run amuck in my thoughts.  He reminded me
of all the things that weren't going right, like the fact that I don't have a car to come and go as I
please;  I don't have a home of my own and haven't since I lost mine in a fire 8 years ago; I don't
have money in the bank that would allow me the freedom to get on a plane and go wherever,
whenever I wanted to; I still don't have a love of my own and have never known the joy of true love.  
Wow, some list huh?

Dwelling on these negatives got me so down in the dumps that I cried everyday, had very little
patience with the children that I adore, and I didn't really want to talk to anyone who could pull me
out of the pity party that I was having.  For a minute I wanted to relish in the 'woe is me' that I was
feeling.  Did I enjoy being there?  No, but I didn't want to give it up too quickly, either.  Flesh wanted
to feel bad for a minute.  But, thank God for friends.

A true friend called me one day and allowed me to tell him everything that I was feeling.  He
allowed me to cry and snot all over the phone.  He patiently let me unburden my spirit until I was
exhausted.  Then he asked, "Are you done."  He took the time to remind me of all that God has
blessed me with.  The fact that I have life and can sit at the computer in my right mind and put
together a website is a blessing.  He reminded that I can get out of bed and dress myself and take
care of 4 rambunctious children everyday.  He called to my remembrance that I have a bed to
sleep in every night and I am not underneath the freeway trying to stay out of the elements.  He
went on and on and all I could do was sit there and listen.  I was convicted.

The next time the enemy reminds you of all of your disappointments, your missed opportunities,
your failures, your shortcomings, your fears, your moments of self doubts...you pick up those notes
that you have made of the blessings in your life...and tell him to GET THEE BEHIND ME,
SATAN!!!!      

Bernadette

I'm Blessed

I have to admit that I am one of the most blessed people that I know.  Before you think that there is
something wrong with my ego, let me explain.  When my 20+ year marriage ended, it was very
important to me to get myself together.  I struggled for six years to recover financially and
emotionally.  God did bless me by allowing me to spend almost two years in Hawaii rent free,
living with my sister and her family, and that was a for real blessing.  But, I had to make a life for
myself.  For the first time in over twenty years I had to take care of myself.  After many set backs, I
finally had a good job with a large company in Louisiana, my own apartment, a car that was in my
name, and I could come and go as I pleased.  I had found an awesome church home and God
had placed some wonderful people in my life...I was blessed.  I was happy and content.  

Then one day I got a call from my daughter.  She had  informed me that she was pregnant with
twins.  She and my son in law already had a 3 year old daughter and a 10 month old son.  She
was in her first trimester and was violently ill.  She could not keep any food or fluids down and she
and the twins were in danger.  The doctors were going to hospitalize her.  I knew that I needed to
get there.  For the next month I traveled to Houston every Friday and would stay until Sunday so that
I could be back in time for work on Monday morning.  On my last weekend home, I realized that I
needed to stay.  You see, my daughter would do fine in the hospital where she was being fed
intravenously but when she got home and there was no one there to feed her, she would get sick
all over again.  My poor son in law couldn't stay there and nurse her back to health because
somebody had to work.  He had a tremendous load on him taking care of my daughter, the two
children and being in retail management.  He needed help.  I made the decision to come home
and stay home.

Leaving my job and my freedom was a sacrifice I am sure any mother would have made.  You see,
I knew that eventually I could get another job, but I could not replace my daughter and her babies.  
This past year and a half have been wonderful for me.  But the real pay off comes on days like
today.  I walked into the room where the twins, who are now 11 months, were playing.  They both
looked up and gave me the biggest, toothless grin that I've ever seen.  Their eyes lit up with
excitement because I had walked into the room.  After lunch, my 2 year old grandson took my face
between his sticky little hands and planted the sloppiest, wettest  kiss I have ever had on my
nose.  I had to laugh in spite of myself.  And, their 4 1/2 year old sister told me, very matter of factly,
"Nana, this is the best chocolate cake in the whole world.  You sure know how to cook.  I love you,
Nana."  I developed a lump in my throat and barely choked back the tears of joy.  They make my life
worthwhile.

So, whenever I allow myself to think of all that I've lost over the years, I thank God that he reminds
me of the things that I have now...love, peace, joy, laughter and contentment.  I am one of the most
blessed woman I know.

Bernadette              

Count Your Blessings

This morning I received an email from a long time friend which informed me that another friend
was battling breast cancer again, for the third time.  I read the attached email which told of the
doctors latest findings and sat in awe.  There were not cries of 'woe is me', there was no
wondering why God had allowed this to happen yet again, there was no doubting if God would
heal her again...there was faith and courage and even thanksgiving.

I can only imagine what it must feel like to get that kind of report from the doctor.  I have had my
challenges in life but cancer has not been one of them ...and I thank God.  And even while I pray for
Paula, I know that God already has this under control and I thank Him for her strength, her faith,
her tenacity in standing on His Word.  And while I thank Him, I took a moment to reflect.

While things may not be what I may want them to be, I still have so much to be thankful for:
......I woke up this morning still able to think, get out of bed on my own, dress myself, fix myself
some breakfast and take care of my grand babies....but somewhere a woman my age didn't wake
up this morning.     
......My joints may be aching (I mean, come on, they
are over 50), I may not be able to run around
like I used to, I have to watch what I eat to keep my numbers in check (you know, sugar, blood
pressure, cholesterol)....but somewhere a woman my age lost the battle and can't check her
numbers anymore.
.......I may not have money to do the things that I think I need to do, the car that was being held
together by a pray finally gave up the ghost, and most of what I have in my closet came from Walley
World (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's Walmart).....but, I have a comfortable bed to
sleep in, I eat three squares a day (sometimes much more and then dread getting on the scales),
and watch TV whenever I want.

I could go on and on but I think you get the point.  Whenever you have the occasion to complain (
and let's face it, we all do it, even with the best of intentions) take a moment to stop and reflect.  I
was reminded of a song that we used to sing in church years ago.  It goes something like this:

"Count Your Blessings"
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Refrain

A Praise Report

I want to give a shout out to the Lord.  He is an awesome God.
Right at a month ago I began having trouble with my computer.  I was unable to access the
internet and that meant no update to the website as I felt that using the other computer in the
house, which belongs to my daughter and her husband, was too much trouble.  I did not want to
have to transport files from one computer to the other.  In all honesty, I  just selfishly wanted to use
my own computer. Go figure.

Anyway, for the last three weeks I was very upset and frustrated and refused to even try.  I was
angry at the technicians who could not seem to do what they were paid to do, which was FIX MY
COMPUTER.   I had no joy because I could not get on the internet.  My whole world seemed to
stop.  I COULD NOT GET ON THE INTERNET.  I don't know if you can feel me, but when the
computer is your life and you can't get on the internet...you have no life!!!!!

My daughter and son-in-law, bless their hearts, prayed for me during their weekly bible study with
their friends.  Little did they know that at that same time God had spoken to me and told me to get
over myself, go to my computer and create the pages for the website and save them to a flash
drive, bring them down to the computer that was working, and get to work.  I obeyed and
immediately my whole countenance changed.

As I cheerfully worked on the website, I began to make changes that I knew were going to improve
the look and everything else about the site.  By the time my daughter got home from bible study, I
was done for the night and my whole attitude was better.  My daughter told me that as soon as I
stopped tripping about my computer, God was going to fix it.

Well, I stopped tripping and He fixed it.  This beautiful Sunday morning, God worked through a
friend of mine who I had not talked to in four years.  Together, we worked out the problem and I am
working from my own computer.  Thank you Father.      

Bernadette  
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